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Driven: Refreshed Porsche Macan hits showrooms
Discontinued diesel will not diminish top-selling Macan SUV popularity: Porsche
28 Feb 2019
By TUNG NGUYEN
PORSCHE Cars Australia (PCA)’s updated Macan mid-size SUV is expected to continue its strong sales success, despite the discontinuation of diesel powertrains and a slight rise in price.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the new Macan this week, PCA head of public relations Chris Jordan said the diesel-powered option was the third most-popular variant, but he expected oil-burning buyers to migrate to other grades.
“(The cessation of diesel will have a) smaller (impact) in Macan versus Cayenne,” he said. “We’d like to think we’d get existing Macan diesel owners into an S or, later down the track, another variant.
“For Panamera and Macan, losing diesel out of that range will only have a very small effect in our eyes … we’d like to think we can keep almost everyone.”
Last year, PCA found 1874 new homes for its Macan, a 24.4 per cent drop over 2017, but still representing around 48 per cent of its overall 3909 volume.
Mr Jordan said the dip in sales was a result of stock of the outgoing Macan drying up quickly in the lead-up to the new version changeover, which broke cover in July last year.
“At the point that we unveiled the new Macan and announced pricing, really the only thing we had left was the S Diesel,” he said.
“January 2018, I think it was roughly 280 Macan sales; Macan sales January 2019, about 40. So, the order intake is still strong because people are ordering new Macan, but in terms of delivering cars … both us and the dealers have been eagerly awaiting the new car.”
As the entry model in the Porsche line-up, Mr Jordan said the Macan plays a crucial role in drawing new customers to the premium brand, but other models – such as the 911 which was outsold by the Macan last year nearly four to one – are still vital for success.
“It does a really important job for us in that more than half of Macan buyers, this is their first Porsche,” he said.
“Another nice thing is that we’re seeing a lot of Macan buyers upgrade, so a lot of Macan buyers go up to a GTS or a Turbo, which is fantastic because customer retention is a big focus.
“I wouldn’t promote Macan by diminishing other models as well such as Cayenne and 911, which is obviously an iconic product for us.”
Mr Jordan would not be drawn on sales expectations of the new Macan and whether it would top the 2478 high watermark of 2017, but said the brand is now ready to meet local demand after wait times of the previous version blew out to nearly 12 months.
As previously reported, the refreshed Macan will kick off at $81,400 before on-road costs for the four-cylinder version and $97,500 for the V6-powered S, a respective $1300 and $2000 more expensive than before.
Propelled by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that, despite revisions to combustion geometry, outputs an unchanged 185kW/370Nm, the base Macan can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 6.7 seconds.
Fuel economy in the 1795kg four-pot Macan is rated at 8.9 litres per 100km, while carbon dioxide emissions are pegged at 204 grams per kilometre.
While the 190kW/580Nm diesel-powered S priced at $95,300 was the next rung on the Macan ladder, the second-cheapest variant is now the petrol S that makes use of a Porsche-developed twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engine, which outputs 260kW/480Nm.
Compared with the outgoing version that was propelled by a twin-turbo bent-six from Audi, the new Macan S produces 10kW/20Nm more thanks to the fitment of the turbocharger within the cylinder bank for a shorter exhaust gas pathway.
Sending drive to the all four wheels via a seven-speed PDK, the 1865kg Macan S will blitz the 0-100km/h sprint in a hot hatch-scaring 5.1s – a 0.3s improvement – while sipping 9.6L/100km and emitting 223g/km of CO2.
While yet to be revealed, the new-look Macan range is expected to be bolstered by a GTS and Turbo flagship in future, while electrification will not come to the mid-size SUV until the new-generation model lobs in 2021.
Aside from the new exterior look that includes updated headlights, tweaked front fascia, fresh wheel designs and tail-light-connecting LED strip, the 2019 Macan also gains revisions to its suspension componentry, improvements in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, and – for the S grade – larger brakes.
Inside, the infotainment system is upgraded to an 11.0-inch touchscreen PCM unit with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, digital radio and satellite navigation, replacing the 7.0-inch version in the outgoing model.
As a result, the centre stack has been reworked to incorporate the central air vents underneath the screen, keeping the interior of the Macan in line with its Panamera, 911 and Cayenne siblings.
Standard equipment includes an off-road driving mode, automatic engine start-stop, 19-inch wheels, LED lighting signature front and rear, three-zone climate control, power-adjustable front pews, 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats, 10-speaker sound system and power-operated tailgate.
Safety gear includes a tyre pressure monitoring system, hill hold assist, automatic headlights, reversing camera, surround-view monitor, lane departure warning and cruise control.
Buyers opting for the S variant will gain Porsche Active Suspension management, 20-inch wheels, aluminium-finished side window trim, quad exhaust outlet, silver-coloured rev counter and gloss-black interior highlights.
Notably, autonomous emergency braking is not included as standard on either variant, with buyers needing to opt for the $2410 Porsche Active Safe package that also includes adaptive cruise control.
2019 Porsche Macan pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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